Ramona the Brave

( 88 )

Overview

In this touching and funny story, the ebullient Ramona, feeling brave and grown-up, enters first grade. Quickly she finds that her new teacher, Mrs. Griggs, appears perplexed by pupils who like to be different. Since Ramona cannot help being different, clearly the two are incompatible.

Nevertheless, Ramona can be counted on to keep things lively. Enraged when Susan copies her wise old owl prepared for Parents' Night and receives praise for it, Ramona rebels. Overcome by guilt ...

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Ramona the Brave

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Overview

In this touching and funny story, the ebullient Ramona, feeling brave and grown-up, enters first grade. Quickly she finds that her new teacher, Mrs. Griggs, appears perplexed by pupils who like to be different. Since Ramona cannot help being different, clearly the two are incompatible.

Nevertheless, Ramona can be counted on to keep things lively. Enraged when Susan copies her wise old owl prepared for Parents' Night and receives praise for it, Ramona rebels. Overcome by guilt and no longer brave, she tries mightily thereafter to please her teacher, but still Mrs. Griggs infuriatingly reports home that Ramona lacks self-control. Only because she is a girl with spunk, to use her father's word, does Ramona's courage return, earning her at last an uneasy truce with the teacher.

Beverly Cleary draws here a portrait of a little girl discovering with astonishment that the way others see her is not always the way she sees herself. In the contrast lie moments of emerging self-knowledge for Ramona and of delicious hilarity for the reader.

Six-year-old Ramona tries to cope with an unsympathetic first-grade teacher.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Anita Barnes Lowen
Long before Junie P. Jones or Peter's little brother Fudge, there was Ramona Quimby, a brave and fearless (spunky according to her Dad) little girl just starting first grade. This year Ramona will need all her spunk to deal with her first grade teacher who calls her Ramona Kitty Cat (because Ramona prints the Q that starts her last name with whiskers and ears), a bossy big sister, and her Mom's new job. But it is hard to be brave when you take a different route to school and lose your shoe protecting yourself from a growling German shepherd! Or when you go to sleep in your new bedroom and, for the first time ever, you are alone in the dark. Who knows what might be hiding under the bed, slithering behind the curtains, or slinking around the walls? A timeless classic that is as delightful today as it was when first published. A wonderful book for parents and teachers to share with younger readers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380709595
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/1995
  • Series: Ramona Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 81,253
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 820L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Beverly Cleary

Beverly Cleary is one of America's most popular authors. Born in McMinnville, Oregon, she lived on a farm in Yamhill until she was six and then moved to Portland. After college, as the children's librarian in Yakima, Washington, she was challenged to find stories for non-readers. She wrote her first book, Henry Huggins, inresponse to a boy's question, "Where are the books about kids like us?"

Mrs. Cleary's books have earned her many prestigious awards, including the Amercan Library Association's Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, presented in recognition of her lasting contribution to children's literature.

Her Dear Mr. Henshaw was awarded the 1984 John Newbery Medal, and both Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and Ramona and Her Father have been named Newbery Honor Books. In addition, her books have won more than thirty-five statewide awards based on the votes of her young readers. Her characters, including Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spofford, and Beezus and Ramona Quimby, as well as Ribsy, Socks, and Ralph S. Mouse, have delighted children for generations. Mrs. Cleary lives in coastal California.

Jaqueline Rogers has been a professional children's book illustrator for more than twenty years and has worked on nearly one hundred children's books.

Biography

Beverly Cleary was inadvertently doing market research for her books before she wrote them, as a young children’s librarian in Yakima, Washington. Cleary heard a lot about what kids were and weren’t responding to in literature, and she thought of her library patrons when she later sat down to write her first book.

Henry Huggins, published in 1950, was an effort to represent kids like the ones in Yakima and like the ones in her childhood neighborhood in Oregon. The bunch from Klickitat Street live in modest houses in a quiet neighborhood, but they’re busy: busy with rambunctious dogs (one Ribsy, to be precise), paper routes, robot building, school, bicycle acquisitions, and other projects. Cleary was particularly sensitive to the boys from her library days who complained that they could find nothing of interest to read – and Ralph and the Motorcycle was inspired by her son, who in fourth grade said he wanted to read about motorcycles. Fifteen years after her Henry books, Cleary would concoct the delightful story of a boy who teaches Ralph to ride his red toy motorcycle.

Cleary’s best known character, however, is a girl: Ramona Quimby, the sometimes difficult but always entertaining little sister whom Cleary follows from kindergarten to fourth grade in a series of books. Ramona is a Henry Huggins neighbor who, with her sister, got her first proper introduction in Beezus and Ramona, adding a dimension of sibling dynamics to the adventures on Klickitat Street. Cleary’s stories, so simple and so true, deftly portrayed the exasperation and exuberance of being a kid. Finally, an author seemed to understand perfectly about bossy/pesty siblings, unfair teachers, playmate politics, the joys of clubhouses and the perils of sub-mattress monsters.

Cleary is one of the rare children’s authors who has been able to engage both boys and girls on their own terms, mostly through either Henry Huggins or Ramona and Beezus. She has not limited herself to those characters, though. In 1983, she won the Newbery Medal with Dear Mr. Henshaw, the story of a boy coping with his parents’ divorce, as told through his journal entries and correspondence with his favorite author. She has also written a few books for older girls (Fifteen, The Luckiest Girl, Sister of the Bride, and Jean and Johnny) mostly focusing on first love and family relationships. A set of books for beginning readers stars four-year-old twins Jimmy and Janet.

Some of Cleary’s books – particularly her titles for young adults – may seem somewhat alien to kids whose daily lives don’t feature soda fountains, bottles of ink, or even learning cursive. Still, the author’s stories and characters stand the test of time; and she nails the basic concerns of childhood and adolescence. Her books (particularly the more modern Ramona series, which touches on the repercussions of a father’s job loss and a mother’s return to work) remain relevant classics.

Cleary has said in an essay that she wrote her two autobiographical books, A Girl from Yamhill and My Own Two Feet, "because I wanted to tell young readers what life was like in safer, simpler, less-prosperous times, so different from today." She has conveyed that safer, simpler era -- still fraught with its own timeless concerns -- to children in her fiction as well, more than half a century after her first books were released.

Good To Know

Word processing is not Cleary's style. She writes, "I write in longhand on yellow legal pads. Some pages turn out right the first time (hooray!), some pages I revise once or twice and some I revise half-a-dozen times. I then attack my enemy the typewriter and produce a badly typed manuscript which I take to a typist whose fingers somehow hit the right keys. No, I do not use a computer. Everybody asks."

Cleary usually starts her books on January 2.

Up until she was six, Cleary lived in Yamhill, Oregon -- a town so small it had no library. Cleary's mother took up the job of librarian, asking for books to be sent from the state branch and lending them out from a lodge room over a bank. It was, Clearly remembers, "a dingy room filled with shabby leather-covered chairs and smelling of stale cigar smoke. The books were shelved in a donated china cabinet. It was there I made the most magical discovery: There were books written especially for children!"

Cleary authored a series of tie-in books in the early 1960s for classic TV show Leave It to Beaver.

Cleary's books appear in over 20 countries in 14 languages.

Cleary's book The Luckiest Girl is based in part on her own young adulthood, when a cousin of her mother's offered to take Beverly for the summer and have her attend Chaffey Junior College in Ontario, California. Cleary went from there to the University of California at Berkeley.

The actress Sarah Polley got her start playing Ramona in the late ‘80s TV series. Says Cleary in a Q & A on her web site: “I won’t let go of the rights for television productions unless I have script approval. There have been companies that have wanted the movie rights to Ramona, but they won’t let me have script approval, and so I say no. I did have script approval for the television productions of the Ramona series…. I thought Sarah Polley was a good little actress, a real little professional.”

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    1. Also Known As:
      Beverly Atlee Bunn (birth name)
    2. Hometown:
      Carmel, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 12, 1916
    2. Place of Birth:
      McMinnville, Oregon
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of California-Berkeley, 1938; B.A. in librarianship, University of Washington (Seattle), 1939

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Trouble in the Park

Ramona Quimby, brave and fearless, was half running, half skipping to keep up with her big sister Beatrice on their way home from the park. She had never seen her sister's cheeks so flushed with anger as they were this August afternoon. Ramona was sticky from heat and grubby from landing in the sawdust at the foot of the slides, but she was proud of herself. When Mrs. Quimby had sent the girls to the park for an hour, because she had an errand to do--an important errand, she hinted--she told Beezus, as Beatrice was called, to look after Ramona.

And what had happened? For the first time in her six years Ramona had looked after Beezus, who was supposed to be the responsible one. Bossy was a better word, Ramona sometimes thought. But not today. Ramona had stepped forward and defended her sister for a change.

"Beezus," said Ramona, panting, "slow down."

Beezus, clutching her library book in her sweaty hand, paid no attention. The clang of rings, the steady pop of tennis balls against asphalt, and the shouts of children grew fainter as the girls approached their house on Klickitat Street.

Ramona hoped their mother would be home from her errand, whatever it was. She couldn't wait to tell what had happened and how she had defended her big sister. Her mother would be so proud, and so would her father when he came home from work and heard the story. "Good for you, Ramona," he would say. "That's the old fight!" Brave little Ramona.

Fortunately, the car was in the garage and Mrs. Quimby was in the living room when the girls burst into the house. "Why, Beezus," said their mother, when shesaw the flushed and sweaty faces of her daughters, one angry and one triumphant.

Beezus blinked to hold back the tears in her eyes.

"Ramona, what happened to Beezus?" Mrs. Quimby was alarmed.

"Don't ever call me Beezus again!" Beezus's voice was fierce.

Mrs. Quimby looked at. Ramona for the explanation, and Ramona was eager to give it. Usually Beezus was the one who explained what had happened to Ramona, how she had dropped her ice-cream cone on the sidewalk and cried when Beezus would not let her pick it up, or how she tried, in spite of the rules, to go down a slide headfirst and had landed on her face in the sawdust. Now Ramona was going to have a turn. She took a deep breath and prepared to tell her tale. "Well, when we went to the park, I slid on the slides awhile and Beezus sat on a bench reading her library book. Then I saw an empty swing. A big swing, not a baby swing over the wading pool, and I thought since I'm going to be in the first grade next month I should swing on the big swings. Shouldn't I, Mama?"

"Yes, of course." Mrs. Quimby was impatient. "Please, go on with the story. What happened to Beezus?"

"Well, I climbed up in the swing," Ramona continued, "only my feet wouldn't touch the ground because there was this big hollow under the swing." Ramona recalled how she had longed to swing until the chains went slack in her hands and her toes pointed to the tops of the fir trees, but she sensed that she had better hurry up with her story or her mother would ask Beezus to tell it. Ramona never liked to lose an audience. "And I said, 'Beezus, push me,' and some big boys, big bad boys, heard me and one of them said--" Ramona, eager to be the one to tell the story but reluctant to repeat the words, hesitated.

"Said what?" Mrs. Quimby was baffled. "Said what, Ramona? Beezus, what did he say?"

Beezus wiped the back of her wrist across her eyes and tried. "He said, 'J-j-j'"

Eagerness to beat her sister at telling what had happened overcame Ramona's reluctance. "He said, 'Jesus, Beezus!'" Ramona looked up at her mother, waiting for her to be shocked.

Instead she merely looked surprised and could it be?--amused.

"And that is why I never, never, never want to be called Beezus again!" said Beezus.

"And all the other boys began to say it, too," said Ramona, warming to her story now that she was past the bad part. "Oh, Mama, it was just awful. It was terrible. All those big awful boys! They kept saying, 'Jesus, Beezus' and 'Beezus, Jesus.' I jumped out of the swing, and I told them--"

Here Beezus interrupted. Anger once more replaced tears. "And then Ramona had to get into the act. Do you know what she did? She jumped out of the swing and preached a sermon! Nobody wants a little sister tagging around preaching sermons to a bunch of boys. And they weren't that big either. They were just trying to act big."

Ramona was stunned by this view of her behavior. How unfair of Beezus when she bad been so brave. And the boys had seemed big to her.

Mrs. Quimby spoke to Beezus as if Ramona were not present. "A sermon! You must be joking."

Ramona tried again. "Mama, I--"

Beezus was not going to give her little sister achance to speak. "No, I'm not joking. And then Ramona stuck her thumbs in her ears, waggled her fingers, and stuck out her tongue. I just about died, I was so embarrassed."

Ramona was suddenly subdued. She had thought Beezus was angry at the boys, but now it turned out she was angry with her little sister, too. Maybe angrier. Ramona was used to being considered a little pest, and she knew she sometimes was a pest, but this was something different. She felt as if she were standing aside looking at herself. She saw a stranger, a funny little six-year-old girl with straight brown hair, wearing grubby shorts and an old T-shirt, inherited from Beezus, which had Camp Namanu printed across the front.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 88 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(59)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 90 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2006

    Ramona fight a dog!!!!

    This book is a good one for kids and grownups because it's fun and funny so funny!!! It has when Ramona think she's brave and throw her shoes at a dog. She sleeps in a room by herself but shes scared. It's sucha good book i wish you'd buy it.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    AWESOME BOOK

    This book was awesome!Any one who has not read it needs to because it is super funny and I think it is the best book in the whole wide world

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    love this book

    I want all the of the books so yeah im going to put it on my wish list :)

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    Best posting

    Ramona is very active in Ramona the brave

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2012

    Really cute andd funny!

    I have read this book so many times and it gets me laughing in no time. It is about a little girl named Romona who tries to get attention but things always turns out wrong. Life is so unfair! Yiou really shoud read this book! I LOVE BEVERLY CLEARY BOOKS!!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    Wish list

    Im so putting this on my wish list

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2012

    Awesome

    This is awwsome book! U should read it!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2012

    Wishlist

    What is a wishlist?

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    LOVE IT!

    I think all people who like a little bit of humor in their books should at least give this book a chance.In " Ramona the Brave",
    A little girl named Ramona gets into a lot of mischif when she starts first grade. I'm not going to say alot because i don't want to spoil the book for you so i'll just say i think you'll like this book! ;)

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2011

    Love

    It is so cool .she tries to boss her sister around but it never works. She loves to play and loves being the senter of everything.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2011

    I have this book and it is good

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 5, 2011

    Haha

    In this book Ramona Quimby is up to something! She gets into owl trouble, thinks her teacher Mrs. Griggs does'nt like her, and scares her self so much, she ends up not wanting to sleep in her new room! Her and her older sister are always quarreling, her mom gets a job and has bologna sandwiches in her lunch every single day of the week! Please read this book it deserves 5 stars!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2011

    MAYBE GOOD...................

    This book looks good!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2001

    Ramona's like my little sister!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ramona Quimby goes to the park with her sister Beezus.Some boys say''Jeeus Beezus''. Ramona sicked her tongh out and thinks she's brave.Ramona gets a new room first for six mounths.When the first day of school comes she has a very mean teacher.When Ramona spends her first night in her room, she was afraid. Will Rammona tell she's afraid,and change her teacher or not?????????????

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2000

    My Favorite Ramona

    Ramona is brave. And scared. And feisty. And a pest. Ramona is a typical six year old in the first grade. Excited by a hole in her house, angered by a copy-cat, and frightened by a big dog, Ramona is the little girl in all of us. 'Ramona the Brave' is a book that is easy for children to read, and is a trip down memory lane for adults. And if you're a parent with a child who cannot read, then you both will enjoy sharing Ramona's stories...together.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2014

    Great

    This book sickly dickley gnar amazing

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2013

    Rock and roal.

    Vfycghhgdhgvjgfhhhdkhqgjdgjhjcdghgfhdudydruejdgghgggfufrhgggvgjvhdhfggygyftfgghvhvhggfgfgfhfgdvfgfvdegdgftfdhfgygfhfhcgghghghggdhgcgxgcgdgxgfggfhfhghfggtggggtggggggchgghgghghvhgjgghfhyhghhhhhhggghfhsgzhsjfshffgcshgvdfygecydvgffrffffgfseskgszsexsexsexsezsexsexaesdexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsecxsexsexsexsexsexsefsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsexsffgdgggttftfttfttjfgfcc

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2013

    EJDHDHFHEJFJNJNEJ

    GOOD

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2013

    SHANE REED

    Somewon

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2013

    I dont core

    I wont o pony

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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